Emergent BioSolutions and Aeras Push Tuberculosis Vaccine to Phase IIb

Two Rockville-based firms involved in drug development have teamed up to develop a new Tuberculosis (TB) vaccine.

Aeras a non-profit focused on developing vaccines to prevent TB and Emergent BioSolutions a biotechnology firm mostly known for its Antrax drug--BioThrax--are now entering a Phase IIb Proof-of-Concept Trial of Emergent's Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara--Antigen 85Abased TB vaccine.

"Together with our partners, Emergent BioSolutions is proud to be leading the development of a new vaccine to defeat TB, one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases. This trial is particularly critical because of its focus on adults living with HIV. If we are successful, MVA85A will help make the dream of a world free from TB a reality," stated Fuad El-Hibri, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emergent BioSolutions.

Primary funding will come from theEuropean and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership.

1400 adults from South Africa and Senegal ranging from age 18-50 will be part of the clinical trial.

"A new, more effective TB vaccine would be game-changing in international efforts to eliminate TB globally by 2050," commented Jim Connolly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aeras. "Studies have already shown that this promising vaccine has an acceptable safety profile and stimulates strong immune responses in HIV-infected individuals."

The firms said 1.7 million people die from Tuberculosis each year, and more than two billion people worldwide are infected with TB a number that amounts to approximately one out of every three people in the world.

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